Norihiro Yagi CLAYMORE Illustrations Memorabilia is a refined collection of beauties and beasts, though it can be hard to determine which is which at times. Like most artists who started before the digital revolution, he works with real media---pastels, pencils, markers and even oil paints on some of the illustrations. This adds a level of depth, texture and detail to each illustration that is becoming more and more rare in commercial art work these days.
I remember earlier this year, after receiving the PUSH!! art book Yukirin Art Works, I had pretty much lost faith in their ability to publish a proper art collection. But then I bought Satoh Satoru Illustration Works, and it seemed PUSH!! was back on the up and up. So hoping for the best, I bought Senomoto Hisashi Art Works, which has pushed my opinion right back down.
Touhou Jibun Katte Emaki was a joint release illustration book between Momiji Mao and Ganjii for COMIC1☆4. This 16-page, short illustration collection features dynamic portraits of several of the Touhou characters along with a cross-talk interview with the two artists involved.
Akarui Tokoro was a Comitia 92 release by Sody through his circle SLeeVe, and is the fourth illustration book in his series subtitled SLeeVe Private Art Collection. Sody's art works are pretty much always school girls, and this one was no different. The bright light of summer was the theme, with all the character illustrations in partially shaded or glaring sunlight that bring the works to life.
Kazuaki Artworks is a huge, A4-sized 264 page collection of illustrations ranging from original works to copyright series like Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica, Starry☆Sky, and many others. This art book was published by Mandarake and really put to shame many of the other art books released in late July, as it contains an extensive collection in a high quality presentation without an over-the-top price tag.
For anyone keeping up with Akatsuki Katoh's Zanzo Apartment circle releases, SCRAP Vol. 02 probably seemed like a step backwards from previous more creative endeavors like The Swinging Brompton and Girl Cycle. But as it's just meant to collect more miscellaneous works rather than art on a theme, that's just how it is.
Rco Wada, whose work is recently everywhere as the character designer for the new PSP game Fate/Extra, regularly participates in the bi-annual Comic Markets and has a number of illustration collections to her name. While they've recently become shorter, her colorful works are still worth collecting, with beautifully detailed illustrations and a character design style unlike any other.
I don't buy as many anime related visual books as I used to, but Shiki Visual Works had a couple of things really going for it. One of those things was the low price of just ￥ 980, and the other being it included art work by one of my favorite artists, Fujisaki Ryu, who illustrates the manga version.
One Voice is the third art book by Shunya Yamashita, whose prolific designs have contributed towards a multitude of busty, sexy, figure designs from popular series along with artist's originals. Outside of that genre I don't see a lot of his work anywhere else nowadays, aside from the occasional light novel illustration or how-to art cover. Even still, Shunya Yamashita is a renowned artist with an instantly recognizable style that just leaves you wanting more ^^
Shigenori Soejima Art Works 2004-2010 was released at the beginning of August and showcases the artist's illustrations from the games Persona 3 & 4, along with Stella Deus and a handful of other miscellaneous works. The art book presentation is also fitting for such a beautiful set of art works, with full page illustrations for the most part and a unique cover design.